This month we have been ordered by the lovely Kendra to meet our characters at a birthday party! Click here to join in the fun!
Her stinging voice nags me, scraping my ear painfully. I force as much annoyance and frustration into a single glance as I can and throw it at her.
"Sims, you've been saying that for the last hour."
The blonde princess straightens on her horse with a disdainful sniff. "Do not dare to call me that. My proper name is Princess Simeanna, daughter of the beloved King Jakken Fierté, princess and heir to the kingdom of Findenland."
Very few people in this world hold the title of being a person who irritates me. Really irritates me. Simeanna is one of them, even though she's only one of my characters. I know too much about her to hate her, and yet, at the moment, the gritty, churning feeling in my heart can only be hate. I know that I will only spout out something nasty if I speak, so I struggle to hold my tongue and put my focus onto the chestnut neck of the mare bobbing up and down before me.
I'll never know how Simeanna convinced me to go to Kendra's birthday party on horseback. I suppose when she showed up and carelessly threw the idea at me when I mentioned I wished to go to the party, it had seemed a great diversion. But now, after two hours in the saddle, my legs feel like jelly and I want to be done.
"Have you consulted your map recently?" Simeanna asks crisply. "I believe that if you trusted the reliable parchment as your guide, we wouldn't be here. We could have been to the party by now, had you not insisted that you were capable of finding you way on your own."
With a sigh, I pull a folded, wrinkled, papery mess out of my pocket and smooth it carefully on my lap. "This might be easier if I actually knew where we were."
Simeanna clears her throat. "I spy a road sign there. I am certain that you could use the name upon it to discover our whereabouts."
My eyes at once seek the sign and see the name Ardnek Ave. I smile, for I know exactly where we are.
"You know, Sims," I say with a smile, "you're not as bad as everyone imagines you to be."
She releases an exasperated, yet ladylike, sigh. "You are as vulgar as Nattalaris. You and she both will insist on giving people short and friendly names rather than their intended ones."
"And what's wrong with that?"
"I only mean that I would prefer to be called by my true name."
I cast a sly glance in her direction. "I happen to know that one day you might enjoy being called Sims, or even Anna."
Simeanna flinches, but I can tell she is forcing herself to remain calm. "Well, I suppose Anna is not so terrible as Sims, though I do wish you would deter Nattalaris from using both on me. She has such a forward and unladylike way with words."
At this point, I'm not exactly sure what to say to her, so again, I keep my mouth shut.
"Oh, do not be a bore, Kiri Liz." Simeanna says suddenly. "Even though you are my creator, I confess that we as your characters know much more about you than you realize. I know I irritate you, but deep down, you truly do enjoy my company. You think me a beautiful, yet mysterious, princess and my story is one that intrigues you like no other story."
I can't help the smile that spreads across my face. "You are correct on that account, Sims. You are indeed a puzzle. A beautiful, mysterious, annoying, friendly puzzle."
She seems unsure at what to do under the grinning gaze I give her. "Well... do you not think that we should be on our way again? Have you ascertained our location on your map?"
"As a matter of fact, I have." I dig my heels into my horse's sides and urge her forward. "Kendra's house is..." I turn the corner and gesture ahead for my companion. "... right there."
As I speak, a girl with a sparkling tiara woven into her lovely hair steps out of the front door. She holds half a dozen birthday cards in one hand, while fingering the fine linen of her pink party dress with the other. When she sees Simeanna and I in the road before her house, she grins. "Kiri Liz? Is that you?"
I swing out of the saddle and manage an almost graceful dismount. Kendra is beside me before both of my feet can fully touch the earth, and I am treated to a giant hug.
"I'm so glad you could make it!" She exclaims.
"I'm glad I finally found my way over here!" I return cheerfully. "Kendra, I'd like you to meet..." I turn to Simeanna, but she and her ebony steed are gone.
"Meet who?" Kendra tries to look around me, as if I were hiding someone behind me.
I am usually disappointed when one of my characters disappears after such a short meeting, but Simeanna going is truly depressing.
"I'm sorry," I tell Kendra. "One of my princesses, Simeanna by name, accompanied me here today, but I'm afraid she's gone now."
Kendra squeezes my arm. "Well, that's okay. They always do leave at the most inopportune times, don't they? What's that?"
I whirl, expecting something to be approaching behind me, but see nothing. It is not until my gaze falls to the street that I spot what has attracted Kendra's notice. A small package, done up in exquisite blue ribbon lies where Simeanna's horse was only minutes ago. I pick it up and see For Kendra written on the small tag attached to the ribbon.
"I suppose she left you a gift." I hand the package over to Kendra.
Kendra opens it carefully. As the wrapping falls away, a small, embroidered pillow lays in her hands. The colorful threads decorating the cover depict various scenes from fantasies; swords and flowers alike create the borders, and in the middle rests Kendra's name in a lovely script.
"It's beautiful." Kendra breathes.
I furrow my brow as my eyes catch something in the corner, something small, hidden in the border almost as to hinder anyone from seeing it.
I grin. "She's a puzzle, all right."